People often ask me for "kid friendly" dinner and snack ideas. While I hate to be unhelpful, the truth is, we don't really differentiate between kid meals and adult meals. For the most part, Caroline and Smith eat what we eat. I'm glad that so far we've managed to avoid the curse of the picky eater, and hopefully we'll continue to be lucky in that regard with all of our kids. However, some foods are definitely really big hits with Caroline and Smith. This berry applesauce was one such snack. I threw this together on a whim the night I made the roasted veggie-stuffed potatoes, and Caroline and Smith both had seconds of the applesauce.
Since berries are no longer in season (sad face), I used a bag of frozen mixed berries. I believe it was raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. And since the berries tend to be pretty sweet on their own, I used tart Granny Smith apples for the applesauce. It was super simple to throw together, and with no added sweeteners, it's a super healthy snack or dessert option for little ones. I think Caroline, Smith, and I had a bowl of this for our afternoon snacks every single day until it ran out. Plus, it's super cute when Caroline asks for "Vewy Bewwy Applesauce."
But the fun doesn't have to stop with berry applesauce. In the past, I have used a wide variety of fruits and even veggies as add-ins. Butternut squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, pears, pumpkin puree, and peaches have all been big hits in our house. Feel free to play around with any of the above fruits, or get crazy and make-up your own combination. Brussels Sprouts Applesauce, anyone? ;-)
Very Berry Applesauce
a Pink Parsley Original
We like a slightly chunky texture because it makes it easier for caroline to feed herself without drips. If you prefer or need a thinner texture, then use a food processor or blender, then strain it through a colander. This would also be a good method if the seeds from the berries bother you.
- 5-6 medium-large apples, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped (I used Granny Smith)
- 1 (16-oz) bag frozen mixed berries, thawed, with juices reserved
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- splash (maybe 1/4 cup) apple cider or water
Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until he apples are softened, about 15-20 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree the sauce, leaving a few chunks of the apples and berries.
If the applesauce seems too thin, bring to a boil and allow to cook until it's thickened to your liking. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or portion it into freezer bags and freeze.